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14th June, 1325 Ibn Battuta set off on a long journey

On 14th of June, 1325 outstanding Arab traveler Ibn Battuta went on a long journey from his native Tangier (Morocco now). This man wandered for 29 years. The map covers his expeditions in Central Asian countries: China and India, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and Sumatra and in the Muslim state of East Africa and the Middle East.

Ibn Battuta reached the oases of the Sahara, the Nile and the Niger, visited the Crimea and southern Russia. In total, he was able to cover a distance of 120,000 kilometers, which is beyond of scope even for modern traveler with all latest technologies.

At the end of his life Ibn Battuta wrote a book called "The Gift of beholding the miracles and wonders of urban travel," which was later translated into several languages. In 1818 the book was first translated into Latin, and in 1829 - Into English.

In his work Ibn Battuta described with all possible details the states he visited. To this day, there is no reliable evidence that Ibn Battuta wrote any diaries and charted any maps during these 29 years. Most likely, he wrote the book, based on the memories. Experts point out that some of the episodes are clearly taken from manuscripts of predecessors. Therefore the fact that he actually went to China is disputable.

Despite this, historians appreciate this work and recognize that information contained in it is generally reliable, and provide a fair description of the civilization of the XIV century.

This Day in History 14-06-2013